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A Declaration of War

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Ephesians 6:10-18 (NIV)

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.

I.   Introduction:

Illust.: Near the end of the Civil War, an old Southern woman works in her flower garden. She develops a thirst after working in the hot sun and goes inside her cottage to get a drink. While inside, she looks out her window, only to see a company of Union soldiers whose march led them straight through her beautiful flowers. Okay, she says. This means war! Of course, war had been declared long before, but it wasn’t until she became involved personally that this woman enlisted in the fight.

II.      Enlist In The War Against Spiritual Rebellion

A.      An Evil Enemy

B.      A Disguised Enemy

III.   Enlist In The War With Strong Resistance

A.      Firmly Stand Against Evil

B.      Finally Stand Against Evil

IV.    Enlist In The War Using Stable Resources

A.      Personal Wear

B.      Powerful Resources*

V.      Enlist In The War With Sweet Reliance

A.      Confident Dependence

B.      Collaborative Dependence

VI.    Conclusion:

Illust: Wilmer McLean was a small farmer in the Shenandoah Valley in 1861. In the spring of that year two powerful armies met on his property—the Union army under General McDowell and the Confederate army under General Beauregard. The bloodiest war in American history began at Bull Run, a creek that ran through McLean's property. McLean was not at all sure why the armies were fighting, but he was quite sure he did not want them fighting on his property. If he could not change the course of the war, he at least did not have to be part of it. McLean decided to sell out and go where the war would never find him.

        He chose the most obscure place in the whole country—or so he thought: an old house in the village of Appomattox Court House, Virginia. Four years later General Grant was pursuing General Lee through Virginia. In Appomattox County, Grant sent a message to Lee asking him to meet and sign a truce. The place where they met to sign the peace that ended the Civil War was Wilmer McLean's living room!

        Some things you cannot get away from.

Citation: James R. Edwards, The Divine Intruder (NavPress, 2000), p.154

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